Are you getting the most out of your data?

By Jennifer Bruzas, Digital Analyst at AnalogFolk

Are you getting the most out of your data?

It's the fundamental question, right? And one that was the focus of everyone’s attention at the first ever BIMA Data Council meeting last week.

Everyone who works in Data and Analytics wants the sum of their efforts to make a difference, to create value. So it was good to come away with 3 key pointers around how to get more from our data sets and our data teams.

1. Dial up the collaboration

It’s not enough to task Data teams with performance measurement and sharing learnings post-campaign. They need, routinely, to be plugged in beforehand, at the crucial planning stage(s) – to the benefit of creative and strategic thinking.

And with all of the current advanced uptake in social intelligence and predictive modelling, Data teams are now very well placed to integrate alongside and strongly support Creatives and Strategists alike.

Of course, the purpose of such collaboration ought never to smother creativity and strategic leaps with data. But to foster an effective synergy between all three. First base though – begin collaborating more. 

2. Start small, to dream big

All too often businesses can be overwhelmed by the need to harness “Big Data”, or indeed by the very idea of data, making it hard for (often small) Data teams to live up to expectations. Which in turn can cause a loss of faith in data and intelligence.

However, the best way to avoid any such crisis of confidence is to first isolate the smaller (but still important) business challenges that data analytics can assist with. It might exist in the realm of “Small Data” but if it’s focussed on clear objectives, measurable outcomes and actionable insight, then there will be ample scope for the Data team to flex its muscles and to deliver some benefit back to clients and/or the business.

Such smaller “wins” with data will also foster trust in one’s ability to tackle big, meatier data challenges.

3. Always keep the customer front of mind

Using data for data’s sake is never an adequate guiding principle. And all the more so in these times of heightened expectation around data. No, the paramount justification for data-driven activity is to see it create experiences that benefit the user / the customer.

Of course, it should always be the intention of businesses to create a product or service which benefits and/or enriches the user in some way. But, citing the work of Professor Thales Teixeira (of Harvard Business School), the point was made that we’re all of us needing to respond to changing customer needs, wants and behaviours, and the extent to which it is customers themselves who are wielding ultimate disruptive power these days.

And our best means of doing so is through taking the learnings we can find from the data available to us.

Data is a tremendous opportunity if harnessed effectively and expectations are managed. And by collaborating with other disciplines, methodically targeting smaller problems, and always keeping the user front of mind, Data teams can equip themselves for meeting the needs of the businesses they serve.